After an over three year hiatus, Mariah Carey returned to the radio airwaves on Thursday; first through a 30 minute phone conference with radio DJ’s from across the nation and then with the release of the first single from her forthcoming, untitled album.
“I don’t really know what I would do if I couldn’t [sing], because math and those things aren’t really my forte,” joked Carey on the phone Thursday afternoon. “But seriously, if I didn’t have music in my life I don’t know what I would do, so I just keep going.”
It seems regardless of if she’s writing or recording, the superstar is constantly moving. The only down time Carey had during her break was the birth of her and husband Nick Cannon’s twins in April 2011. You would be hard pressed to find any mother that would classify pregnancy as “down time.” Yet for Carey, she was not only carrying twins, but also planning out her next record.
“So I was pregnant forever, and I was being tortured day and night by techno music, and I was complaining to anyone who would listen,” Carey joked. The two main themes of the conversation were that Carey will not be conforming to the current sound of pop music and that she will not reveal any possible collaborators. “I remember one time I made dinner for L.A. Reid and we were both sitting there like, ‘What happened?’”
Carey then brought out the claws, albeit a little, as she spoke about the artists of her genre no longer creating music that could be classified as R&B.
“What started to kind of get to me was when hip-hop and R&B music seemed to be getting bowled over by [dance music],” Carey stated, prefacing the comments by twice mentioning she wasn’t trying to offend anyone over their musical taste. “I still make dance remixes myself; I’ve had a lot of number ones on those charts.”
The diva has scored a total of 15 chart toppers in the dance genre alone. Yet the current influx of up-tempo music not only pushed Carey away from creating it, but also moved her to record the vocals for her new single, “Triumphant,” in the same manner which she cut songs during the Fantasy period.
“I didn’t want to go in that direction just because it’s ‘in,’” Carey emphasized. She would complain about it to anyone who would listen and now she had a captive audience of over 500 members of the media. “I didn’t want people to be like, ‘Oh look at her, here she goes yunno, trying to be the next blah-blah-blah.’”
Prior to Thursday, you could have argued that “blah-blah-blah” should be filled in with Jennifer Lopez. Like Carey, JLO was successful in both acting and singing before taking a hiatus to start a family. Lopez resurrected her music career with both a stint at the judge’s table of “American Idol” and up-tempo, radio-friendly dance records. Despite the reported $18 million Mimi will receive to fill that seat on “Idol,” it doesn’t look like she will use either to spur her own comeback. The Rick Ross and Meek Mill-assisted “Triumphant” impacts radio this month, far ahead of “Idol.” Former manager and collaborator along with current “Idol” judge Randy Jackson did join Carey on the call; however there was no mention of the reality competition during the entire conversation.